Somerleyton Hall & Gardens
Somerleyton Hall & Gardens Summary
- Address: Somerleyton, Lowestoft, NR32 5QQ (Map)
- Tel: +44 (0)8712 224244/1502 734901
- Fax: +44 (0)1502 732143
- Owner: The Hon Hugh Crossley
- Administrator: Carolyn Ashton
- E-mail: Click here to contact
- Website: Go to the Somerleyton Hall & Gardens website
Somerleyton Hall & Gardens Description
Somerleyton Hall is one of the most outstanding houses in Britain and owes its present form to wealthy Victorian entrepreneur, Sir Samuel Morton Peto Bt. who made a substantial fortune in building construction and railways.
In 1844 Peto bought Somerleyton Hall and spent very large sums of money rebuilding the Tudor/Jacobean house in a more comfortable style, including up to the minute amenities, and constructed a village school and a model village close by.
Nothing was too good for Peto and the striking interiors bear ample witness to the clever ways in which the earlier house was incorporated by John Thomas, a favourite architect of Prince Albert. One can only marvel at Peto’s resourcefulness and all that he achieved before he failed financially, and died in obscurity.
Peto’s work lives on today and has become the background to a major place of recreation and enjoyment in East Anglia. The Crossley family, who bought the house and estate in 1863, live there still and it is their home that is so much admired by many thousands of visitors every year. Virtually every opportunity on the estate – and there are many – has been brought into play yet, amazingly, the estate retains its serenity and natural charm.
Within Somerleyton Hall the entrance hall provides a promising introduction to pleasures to come. Minton floor tiles contrast with the richly carved oak walls, whilst above, a strikingly coloured stained-glass dome ceiling draws the eye upward. The Ballroom sports deep crimson damask wallpaper with white sculptured marble and an elegant ceiling, whilst the Library is now in use as a family sitting room.
The Gardens are a delight, with a walled garden as the centrepiece, its ornate iron and glass greenhouses designed by Joseph Paxton of Crystal Palace fame, as well as an 80 foot pergola with some old wisteria roses, clematis and vines. In 1846 William Nesfield designed and planted what is now without doubt one of the finest mazes in Britain, believed to be 800 yards from start to finish with perfect navigation, significantly longer otherwise!
The blend between the formal gardens and the and the pleasure gardens is perfectly handled, with some very fine specimen trees in the latter and a Bygones Museum with a collection of gardening memorabilia, described modestly as small, but to the specialist a
fascinating assembly of gardening kit over the ages
Fritton Lake, a most beautiful stretch of water, and part of the Estate but a separate attraction few miles away from the Hall, is overlooked from its surrounding mature woodlands by 45 discretely located and eco-friendly woodland lodges, which can be bought or in some cases rented for holidays.
Some fall in love so much with Somerleyton’s charms that they decide to bring their own Wedding to the Estate, with several choices of location, the Hall, the Loggia, the Winter Gardens, a marquee, or the Fritton House Barn. It is not unknown for people to take their vows in the local church, but this requires an initial approach to the Estate who are pleased to assist where possible.
The Somerleyton Estate has to be one of the most compete and well adapted stately home complexes in the country. It has sacrificed none of its magnificence or historic quality, but by working with the sway brings untold pleasure and recreation to many thousands of people of all ages every year. Further details of this historic property can be found on their own Website. In so many ways it is the complete answer to the question of how a privately owned country estate of outstanding quality can prosper by providing superbly managed recreational opportunities for a wide public. I salute their achievements.
Opening Times - 2012
- 5th April – 17th July: Tuesday, Thursday & Bank Holiday Mondays,11.30 am - 3.30 pm (last tour)
- 18th July – 9th September: Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday & Sunday, 11.30 am - 3.30 pm (last tour)
- 10th – 27th September:Tuesday & Thursday, 11.30 am - 3.30 pm (last tour)
Gardens, Maze & Tea Room:
- 5th - 30th April: Tuesday, Thursday & Bank Holiday Mondays,10 am - 5 pm
- 1st May – 30th June: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays,10 am - 5 pm
- 1st – 17th July: Tuesday, Thursday & Bank Holiday Mondays, 10 am - 5 pm
- 18th July – 9th September: Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday & Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm
- 10th – 27th September:Tuesday & Thursday, 10 am - 5 pm
Admission Prices - 2012
Hall & Gardens:
- Adult - £9.95
- Over 60's - £8.95
- Child - £4.95
- Family ticket (2+2) - £25.00
- Adult - £5.95
- Over 60's - £4.95
- Child - £3.95
- Adult - £25.00
- Over 60's - £20.00
- Child - £13.00
- Hall & Gardens - £1.50 discount per person
- Gardens Only - £1.00 discount per person
Private tours: Half day & evening visits please contact office.
More information on the garden can be found on The Gardens Guide.
Your Reviews of Somerleyton Hall & Gardens
Mark (19 May 2007)
Absolutely beautiful place to visit and get lost in the past! My wife and I absolutely loved the visit here.
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Additional Info for Somerleyton Hall & Gardens
- Disabled Access
- Meals Available
- Car Parking
- Historic Houses Association
Credit Cards Accepted
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